Unlocking the Past – A State Senator’s Awakening Ignites His Crusade For The Rights Of Adoptees is a news article about a state senator and mayoral candidate and his adoption journey.
Connecticut Senator Bill Finch was told when he was 8 or 9 years old that he was adopted. He says that even after that, it never occurred to him that he had “anything less than an idyllic childhood.”
“It was only after I started having children myself and needed access to family medical records, that I needed access to my own past, that I realized something had been taken away from me.”
The Senator is sponsoring a bill that would allow adoptees to obtain copies of their original birth certificates once they turn age 21. Current law required that a probate judge’s order to do so. Last year a similar bill was veoted by Governor M. Jodi Rell.
Want to take a guess at why the Governor vetoed the bill? If you guessed that dreaded birth mother privacy drivel, you would be right. The Governor said the bill would “jeopardize the privacy of birth mothers who have given up their child assuming that their identity would be protected.” Of all the excuses to deny adoptees’ their records, that single excuse seems to be a staple.
It apparently does not seem to matter that you rarely, if ever, hear birth mothers agree that they want their privacy. In fact,nine times out of ten, it is a man who claims that birth mothers want their privacy. Yet, does it make much sense that a mother would want or need her identity protected from her own child?
Finch’s journey from a young father seeking to unlock the secrets of his past to a crusader for the rights of adopted people is a poignant tale of discovering how the law often frustrates the very people it was designed to help.
Adoptees as a general rule are very nice people. They are sensitive, caring and certainly not apt to hound a birth mother who expresses a desire to not be contacted. However, birth mothers have no right to force their children to never have access to their birth certificates.
For several years in the adoption reform community, requests have been made for birth mothers to check their relinquishment papers to determine if they were ever promised anonymity and privacy from their children. As yet, no one, that I know of, can find any relinquishment papers that promised privacy.
Photo by Jan Baker 2007